Fine Art

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Our BA (Hons) Fine Art course at UCA Canterbury is a self-directed course in which you’ll be encouraged to experiment and develop your own independent artistic practice.

Using our extensive facilities and dedicated studio spaces, you’ll have the chance to explore a range of different media such as painting, sculpture, installation, curation, photography, film, sound, performance, animation and printmaking in the development of your own studio practice.


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Length of study:

Three years full-time or six years part-time

Starts:

September 2018

Campus:

UCA Canterbury

UCAS code:

W100

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

C

Course overview:

On this course, you’ll be exposed to the breadth of contemporary art practice through regular gallery visits and a bespoke series of visiting artist lecturers.

Supported and guided by our team of experienced practicing artists, you’ll be encouraged to develop your own professional practice and experiment in a wide range of disciplines.

This experimentation will take place in an environment where creative problem solving and thinking through making are actively encouraged.

Exhibiting your work in both the national and local art scene with organisations such as the Whitstable Biennale, Turner Contemporary and artist run spaces like CRATE in Margate, you’ll gain practical experience of what it means to be a working artist.

This is a practice-based course which is informed by a theoretical and critical understanding of contemporary fine art.

As a long-established course, we have a strong national reputation which gives you access to some of the most respected names in the creative industries, including Tate Modern, the Saatchi Gallery, LUX, Canterbury Festival, and the Dover Arts Development.

We’re passionate about giving you the confidence, motivation and ambition you need to pursue your own artistic activities. For some this means going on to study at postgraduate level.

Whilst many of our alumni establish careers as artists, others choose to apply their talents and transferable skills to other fields, becoming curators, writers, filmmakers, project managers, animators, photographers, arts administrators, publishers, educators, designers, technical instructors, producers, picture/archive researchers, and teachers.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Studio Practice 1

    This unit introduces innovative approaches to making and thinking about fine art. It engages you in the experience of contemporary art-making in such a way that understanding is broadened and deepened, and habitual ways of thinking and making are challenged.

  • Context and Display

    This unit introduces models of production, dissemination and reception in contemporary art practice and situates these within wider intellectual, cultural and global contexts.

  • History and Theory

    This unit introduces historical and theoretical research as an approach to inform an understanding of art practice. In this context, the History and Theory unit introduces a range of approaches, discourses and models found in recent and contemporary art practice and explores these within wider intellectual, cultural and global contexts.

  • Studio Practice 2

    Studio Practice 2 focuses on your choice of context(s) within your studio work (narratives, subject matters, materials, processes). While these may remain tentative and flexible, the focus is on the production of a substantive body of studio work showing evidence of consistency and investigation into contextual parameters, supported by developmental studies and a written statement.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Contemporary Art Practice 1

    Contemporary Art Practice 1 develops you individual practice within a more specialised and collaborative studio and research environment. Teaching on the unit is delivered through a number of tutor-led groups, each group representing a range of skills and practices.

  • Contemporary Art Practice 2

    Contemporary Art Practice 2 is a continuation of Contemporary Art Practice 1, emphasising the focusing and refining of your studio work as a specialised practice, underpinned by creative and innovative approaches in the context of contemporary art.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Degree Show Development

    This guides you towards your final graduation through the development of an individualised and critically informed practice. Within the unit, you'll create a body of work that stands as a position statement on your practice and your expected approach towards the degree show exhibition.

  • Dissertation or Combined Dissertation/Critical Reflection

    You'll undertake a substantial period of self-directed research on a subject related to the historical, theoretical or critical concerns of your discipline. And you'll develop a range of research skills appropriate to your chosen topic. You'll be expected to articulate a clear, cogent and sustained argument in an extended piece of writing that conforms to academic conventions and demonstrates an understanding of the subject area through analysis and evaluation.

  • Critical Contexts

    This unit is aimed at a summation of the critical writing and research skills you have acquired throughout the course. Operating alongside the Degree Show Development unit, it is integral to the development of a critical context for your practice as you progress towards your degree show. The unit explores academic research skills, methodologies, compositional and editing skills that will allow you to produce a concise and informed critical argument on a subject that relates to contemporary art practice. You are encouraged to be ambitious and intellectually creative in your approach. You are expected to produce a written text, supported with visual references where appropriate, that has the same degree of resolution and rigour that your degree show will have, with a particular emphasis on the structure and presentation of the text.

  • Degree Show

    You'll work towards the creation and presentation of a body of self-initiated work. This is informed by current issues in contemporary art, and will be presented at the degree show exhibition.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course staff

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

As a long-established course, we have a national reputation which gives our students access to some of the most respected names in the creative industries, including:

  • Tate Modern
  • Turner Contemporary
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • Folkestone Triennial
  • Dover Arts Development
  • Stour Valley Arts
  • LUX
  • Film & Video Umbrella
  • Nexus Productions
  • Prime Focus World
  • British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection
  • Nowhere Lab
  • Photoworks
  • Animate Projects
  • Cass Sculpture Foundation
  • Crate
  • Future\City
  • Whitstable Biennale
  • Canterbury Festival
  • Limbo.

Whilst many of our alumni have developed careers as established artists, others have chosen to apply their talents to other fields, becoming:

  • Artist practitioners
  • Filmmakers
  • Project managers
  • Animators
  • Curators
  • Writers photographers
  • Arts administrators
  • Publishers
  • Educators
  • Technical instructors
  • Designers
  • Producers
  • Picture/archive researchers
  • Teachers.

Although our emphasis is on the creative and cultural economy, we ensure those who complete the course are equipped with the transferable skills and attitudes that are applicable to other industries, economies and contexts.

In the employment market, our graduates can be distinguished by their creativity, ability to cope with change, and their hardworking, flexible attitude to work. For this reason, they can be found working in graduate level roles within and beyond the creative industries.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

For this course we’ll ask you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you’ve applied.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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